Johnson and Johnson Human Resource Value and Contribution Essay

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Introduction to Johnson and Johnson

For a company to be successful, it must continuously build and nurture long-term relationships with its strategic shareholders. Shareholders is anyone who has an interest in an organization ((Noe et al., 2016). They include employees, governments, competitors, suppliers, competitors and customers. One such company is Johnson and Johnson (J&J). It has emerged as one of the most successful company globally because of its values dubbed "Our Credo” (Team, Directors and Governance, 2019).J&J is also among the Fortune 500 companies.

This paper will focus on various dimensions of the J&J Company. It is divided into three distinct sections. That is organizational structure, organizational strategy and human resource management. So, J&J organization structure will be explored, the various strategies that the company has pursed over the years will be elaborated and finally J&J human resource management practices will be discussed. Other sections in the paper include organizational design theory and emerging issues in HR management.

Organizational Design Theory

Organizational design (OD) theory is “the study of how organizations function and how they affect and are affected by the environment in which they operate” (Stanford, 2015). An organization is defined as the deliberate arrangement of people to accomplish some specific purpose. There are three definitions of OD. First, OD “is the process by which managers select and manage aspects of structure and culture so that an organization can control the activities necessary to achieve its goals” (Stanford, 2015). Secondly, OD can be defined as” a systems approach of arranging how to do the work required to effectively and efficiently accomplish a business purpose and strategy while delivering high-quality customer and employee experience” (Stanford, 2015). Third, OD according to Jay Galbraith (star model) is the alignment of an enterprise vision, values, strategies, objectives (Hayes, 2014). The Star model further states that aligning all the elements of enterprise results in high performance and achievement of business strategies. Overall, Galbraith star model is the most conclusive definition of organizational design since it helps managers to view an organization holistically.

Organization design is a combination of organization structure and strategy (Stanford, 2015). OD give rise to models which results in the different organization structure. The common organization design models were created by individuals, or it originated from consultancy firms like McKinsey. Models created by individuals include Burke-Litwin model, Jay Galbraith, David Nadler, and Marvin Weisbord. For example, Jay Galbraith model leads to the creation of either divisional or matrix organization structure depending on organizational objectives (Stanford, 2015). Once the organization structure is in place, the managers then formulate organizational strategies. Strategies are policies being undertaken by an organization to improve its competitive advantage (Hayes, 2014). So, OD is linked to organization structure, and organization structure is connected with organizational strategies.

J&J is guided by “Our Credo” which emphasizes on the company responsibility towards its shareholders, communities, employees, doctors, nurses, patients and all users of Johnson and Johnson products (Team, Directors and Governance, 2019). The goals being clear, the company settled on a decentralized structure which classify each subsidiary as independent company. So, organizational design is linked to organization structure. The decentralized structure lead to the formulation of globalization strategy. This strategy emphasizes that each subsidiary is autonomous. Overall, organization design consist of organizational structure and organizational strategy.

Organization Design Theories

OD theories include systems theory, complexity theory, and classical organization theory. The theories are explained as follows:

Systems Theory

This theory describes and demonstrates how organizations work, and the various ways on how goals can be accomplished. It was proposed in the 1960s by Ludwig Von Bertalannffy and J.G.Miller (Stanford, 2015). It provides a framework that views organizations as systems made up of inputs, process, and outputs. Inputs are resources and information needed to supply an organizational system. “Processes are activities within the organizational system that gets work done” (Hayes, 2014). Outputs are outcomes, products, services delivered by the organization. This theory is critical because it helps managers view an organization as a system and not separate units. All the groups of an organization are related, and any change in one unit will most certainly affect other units.

Complexity Theory

This theory states that an organization order, pattern, and structure are derived from complex systems (Stanford, 2015). Since the systems are complex, an organization cannot be treated as separate units but as a whole. This theory is essential in explaining the complex nature of real-world organizations hence manages have to put more effort to ensure an organization achieve its objectives. This theory also explains why it is impossible for two or more organizations to be similar. Complexity theory is important because it outlines the basic principles of organizational design.

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Classical Organization Theory

This theory is based on the Principles of Scientific Management which was published by Fredrick W. Taylor in 1911 (Hayes, 2014). The theory views organizations as machines. He proposed for scientific job analysis, selection of personnel, management cooperation and functional supervising. Scientific job analysis provides the most appropriate way to perform a task in an organization. This theory is important because in any organization, a manager should specify the roles of each worker because it improves efficiency. However, this theory is not common today because it treats a human being as machines. Research studies have shown that organizations are not machines that can be controlled.

Organizational Structure


All organizations are bound to have some form of structure. There are three possible definitions of organizational structure. First, organization structure is the formal system of tasks and authority relationships that control how people coordinate their actions and use resources to achieve organizational goals. Secondly, organization structure is an enterprise formal configuration of roles, governance, authority, and decision making channels. It is generally shown in the form of an organization chart. An organization chart is made up of three components. Namely: job roles/responsibilities, vertical reporting relationships (Hierarchy) and cross-organizational communication paths (Stanford, 2015). Third, organizational…

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…appraisal provides information about how each employee in an organization is performing. It forms the basis for rewarding talented employees who are performing well. Also, employees whose performance is below standard are encouraged to improve. Performance appraisal is one way through which the management gives employees feedback and discuss employee development opportunities. The disadvantage of an appraisal system is that it can create a negative experience for both the manager and employee if it is not carried out well (Noe et al., 2016).

HR should be aware of appraisal politics because it leads to inaccurate performance measurement. A manager can give misleading information when evaluating an employee to advance their personal goals. Appraisal politics is unhealthy because high performing employees become discouraged if they feel they were rated unfairly. On the other hand, weak employees who are overrated will be rewarded instead of being encouraged to work hard. (Noe et al., 2015).

I would recommend calibration meetings to counter the effects of appraisal politics. Managers should hold meetings to discuss employee performance ratings and provide evidence in supporting their ratings. This technique eliminates rating errors.

Work-life balance.

Work-life balance refers to practices that actively support efforts that help the employee achieve success both at work and at home. J&J have programs like Workplace Health programs, Proactive Health Assessments & Health Counselling, Wellness and Fitness Services, Employee Assistance, and Work-Life Resource and Referral Service that promote work-life balance among employees (Team, Directors and Governance, 2019).These programs are advantageous because they improve employees’ productivity.

Emerging issues in HR management

Emerging trends in the field of HR will influence J&J in the future. Some of the emerging trends are as follows:

Economic Changes

Currently, the economy is transforming from manufacturing to service (knowledge) economy (Stone and Deadrick, 2015). HR functions and roles were designed during the industrial era hence it focused on manufacturing companies. Since the economy is transforming, HR functions are bound to change too. For example, in manufacturing organizations, the roles of workers, managers, and supervisors are clearly defined but in a service economy, the roles of employees cannot be clearly defined because it focuses on employee knowledge and skills.

Furthermore, the service economy focuses on innovation and continuous improvement while manufacturing economy focuses on results and efficiency. Therefore, the goals of Service economy will impact on the functions of HR in the future. The HR of J&J will have to design jobs that focus on autonomy and inclusive decision making.

Technological advancement

HR process in companies has changed in the last 30 years because of technological progress. HR functions such as recruiting and selection can be done electronically (e-recruiting and e-selection). Also, companies conduct online training (e-trainings). Technology has significantly reduced costs and improved efficiency in the HR department (Stone and Deadrick, 2015). Therefore, technology will continue to transform the field on HR in the future. For example, if J&J the use virtual reality during recruitment, it will provide a….....

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Hayes, J. (2014). The Theory and Practice of Change Management. 4th ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B. and Wright, P. (2016). Fundamentals of human resource management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Stanford, N. (2015). Guide to Organisation Design. Public Affairs.

Stone, D. and Deadrick, D. (2015). Challenges and opportunities affecting the future of human resource management. Human Resource Management Review, 25(2), pp.139-145.

Team, M., Directors, B. and Governance, C. (2019). About Johnson & Johnson. [online] Content Lab - U.S. Available at: [Accessed 5 Apr. 2019].

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